Haley calls Navalny a ‘hero’, saying Trump must answer for his death

Nikki Haley on Saturday called Alexei Navalny, the outspoken Russian opposition leader, a “hero” and stepped up pressure on former President Donald J. Trump to respond to news of his death. She said that Mr. Navalny died at the hands of President Vladimir V. Putin and that Mr. Trump should “answer to that.”

Speaking to reporters outside her rally in a park in Irmo, SC, Ms. Haley praised Mr. Navalny for calling out Mr. Putin for corruption and election-rigging. She said he fled his country only to return “to fight the good fight”.

“And then he was arrested, and now Putin has done to him what Putin does to all his opponents — he kills them,” she said, before turning to Mr. Trump, her rival in the GOP primary. “And Trump needs to respond to that. Does he think Putin killed him? Does he think Putin was right to kill him? And does he think that Navalny was a hero?”

Ms. Haley, a former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador under Mr. Trump, draws on her foreign policy experience and has long criticized her former boss for what she described as his love of dictators and authoritarian leaders. She only continued to ratchet up his criticism as they head into her home state’s Feb. 24 primary.

Mr Trump has not yet publicly commented on Mr Navalny’s death. On Saturday, he attacked President Biden and said in an online post that “I am the only one who can bring peace, prosperity and stability as I did during my first term. America will be respected and feared again (if necessary!).”

On Friday, shortly after news of Ms Navalny’s death broke, Ms Haley went further than most Republicans in attacking Mr Trump over his past remarks praising Mr Putin. At her rallies since then, she has highlighted Mr. Trump’s cozy relationship with the Russian leader and sought to sound the alarm over his suggestions that he would encourage Russian aggression against America’s allies in Europe.

On Saturday, she also converted news that Russia is developing nuclear space weapons with the potential to destroy satellites, calling for the prevention of war in space.

Russian authorities announced Friday that Navalny, who was serving multiple sentences in Russia, died in a prison inside the Arctic Circle. President Biden said that US officials did not fully understand the circumstances, but that he believed there was “no doubt that Navalny’s death was the result of something Putin and his thugs did.”

At a news conference on Saturday, Ms Haley asked Mr Trump: “Why does he always side with dictators?”

Leave a Comment